Most of us have become sick because of something we ate at one time or another. No one wants to go out to eat at a restaurant and come home with a serious illness. In some cases, food poisoning can cause the sufferer serious illness, dehydration, hospitalization, and even death (in rare cases).
A great number of people are hospitalized because of foodborne illnesses each year. If you’ve become violently ill because of food poisoning, you may wonder whether you can hold the restaurant or other responsible parties liable for your illness. You’re probably wondering whether you can file a personal injury claim for food poisoning.
You may be surprised to learn that, in many circumstances, the answer is yes—you can.
What Causes Food to Become Contaminated?
Food poisoning occurs when bacteria and viruses are passed on through food consumption. Food can be contaminated in many ways. Here is a look at common ways food can be contaminated before it’s ingested:
- Employees didn’t wash hands or follow proper safety procedures.
- The food has been stored incorrectly or improperly washed.
- Food can be shipped from suppliers already contaminated.
- Food preparation surfaces have not been cleaned properly.
- The prepared food was not heated to the right temperature.
- Pests, such as rats and insects, have gotten into the food storage area.
- Employees haven’t been trained properly.
- Employees who are already sick can pass on their illness by preparing and serving food.
When Can I File an Injury Claim for Food Poisoning?
Many food poisoning personal injury claims have been won because serious injury can occur from contaminated food. The trick is proving that your illness was the result of another party’s negligence.
The first step in a successful claim of food poisoning is to demonstrate that your foodborne disease came from a restaurant or food-serving business. This is not an easy thing to do. Even if you have a receipt from the restaurant, proving that the food you consumed there is what made you sick can be tough.
Some of the challenges that arise when seeking damages for food poisoning include the following:
- What if you ate something else after eating at the restaurant?
- Maybe you have an allergy to that food, and it wasn’t that the food itself that was contaminated.
- Proving liability can be difficult. Maybe the restaurant was handling the food just fine, but the food was contaminated before it arrived at the restaurant. Tracing contamination back to the responsible party is challenging.
- If you were only sick for a day or two, your damages may not be great enough for your claim to be taken seriously.
If you believe you do have a case for personal injury compensation for a foodborne illness, a personal injury attorney can advise you on whether you have a solid case and how much it might be worth.
Need Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you’ve suffered a serious illness and you believe a restaurant, grocery store, or other food provider’s negligence caused it, you may be able to recover damages.
Rules and procedures for proper food handling are in place for a reason, and if those responsible for preparing your food have failed to follow these procedures, you can hold them accountable.
The personal injury attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher, LLP can help investigate your foodborne illness and pursue compensation from those responsible. We will assist you with filing a claim and work tirelessly to see that you’re compensated for your illness.
Call 408-279-4222 to discuss your food poisoning case during a free consultation, or complete the online contact form below.